As a new year begins, we have an opportunity to set new, healthy aspirations for the 12 months ahead. This year at Girl Camper, we reflected on what New Year’s Resolutions would look like if they were less about achievement and more about cultivating a supportive lifestyle that brings peace, happiness and health to your day-to-day life. 

Here are five simple, no-cost resolutions that can have a big impact on your year ahead.

Don’t Forget to Breathe

We mean really breathe!  Of course we all take automatic inhales and exhales – but that is merely what we do to survive. When you notice fatigue or the incoming of small ailments like headaches or joint pain, it’s time to call in the big breaths. Take a moment to replace shallow chest breathing with “full capacity breathing.” Take deep full breaths that begin in your stomach and expand outwards. See if you can make your exhale longer than your inhale – slow, deep and complete.  Pro-tip, try pausing in the gap between breaths.  Rest and repeat.

Walk it Off

A short, simple walk has a way of resetting our perspective, awakening our body and quieting our minds. Walking is a valuable tool in improving mental health, particularly in the winter when we’re short on daylight hours. And you don’t need to stop there – move your body in any way that wakes you up! Dance, bike, run, stretch, shake – any and all forms of motion will boost your body’s endorphins. ‘

Kindness is Key

Did you know that studies show there are actual psychological and interpersonal benefits to practicing kindness? Make an intention to bring the golden rule to your day to day life and see if you don’t see a lift in your mood. And – plot twist! – see if you can extend that kindness inward. Does your inner critic need a few days off? See if you can replace the harsher ways in which you speak to yourself with a more compassionate, less judgemental narrator. 

Turn on the Water Works

Does Mother Nature have a better medicine than a big glass of water? If you’re struggling to meet your allotted water intake, it may be time to rethink your hydration system. Consider what would inspire you to drink up. It could be as simple as adding a few charcoal water filters to your glass. Or perhaps you’ve been meaning to repurpose a few large mason jars with a cheerful ribbon as your main drinking vessel. Take a look at what’s stopping you from downing that life-giving liquid and find your solve. 

When in Doubt, Apply Gratitude 

“Gratitude practices are associated with reduced levels of cortisol, the stress hormone,” says Amanda S. Brown, a Nurse Practitioner and Associate in Psychiatry at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.  You don’t need an elaborate ritual to experience these benefits – you don’t even need a dedicated journal. When it comes to experiencing gratitude the trick is to not get stuck on naming things you’re grateful for and instead lean into the feeling of gratitude. Imagine, a cozy blanket of thankfulness draped over your body, keeping you safe and calm. Take your “blanket” with you wherever you go and bust her out when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Don’t forget to show gratitude to yourself for taking such good care of your own well being! 

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